Posted by: Peter Hall
It is a reluctant way to start a review talking about what something isn’t, but this is bugging me. I’ve seen it in almost all of the reviews. It was what drove me to read FRAGMENT, a debut novel from newcomer Warren Fahy, in the first place. But it’s just not true.
FRAGMENT is nothing like a Michael Crichton novel. I can see why the lazy comparison would be made if all one knew of the book was the plot, but anyone who has read the whole thing surely must see how different they are. Scientists discover an uncharted island. Untouched since the dawn of life, the island has evolved an entire ecosystem unlike anything else on Earth. Everything in it is ludicrously lethal, as the first party from a reality TV show about scientists on the high seas soon find out.
Now before I level out why the two writers are different, let me disclaim that I enjoyed FRAGMENT, because what follows is going to sound like an evisceration. FRAGMENT reads like a half-finished manuscript Michael Crichton might write to give his editor for a taste, but that’s where the comparison ends as. Warren Fahy has no slavish devotion to science or at times even logic, placing his book far closer to fantasy than even the most speculative of science fiction. His scientists, several of which are supposed to be the best in their field, are often times complete morons. All of his characters are written with the depth of a contact lens. His monsters, which are the centerpiece of FRAGMENT, are all the kind of hybrid animal one would get if they asked an 8 year old to draw the perfect killing machine.